Blaine Act – Beginning of the End of Prohibition in the United States (1933)

Blaine Act – Beginning of the End of Prohibition in the United States (1933)

On February 17, 1933, the United States Senate passed the so-called. Blaine Act. The bill is named after John J. Blaine, Governor of Wisconsin, a Senator and Republican Party member, and one of the main sponsors of the U.S. repeal initiative.

The purpose of the bill was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which introduced a ban in the United States on January 17, 1920. Although it is commonly referred to as a complete prohibition of alcohol, the prohibition actually concerned the sale, production and transport of alcohol for mass production or consumption, but not the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The law that imposed sanctions on offenders and defined exactly what drinks were called was the Volstead Act. But, as is commonly known, the ban proved to be a failure and led to the creation of a huge black market for alcoholic beverages and a large increase in organized crime. The Blaine Act has therefore dealt a major blow to organized crime in the United States.

However, the Blaine Act did not completely abolish the Volstead Act. Although alcohol sales are legal, the production of alcohol without a homebrewing license remained out of law until 1977, and in some states, such production is still illegal.

Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, when the Twenty-First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. In the meantime, the Cullen-Harrison Act was passed, which allowed the consumption of low-alcohol drinks. It was a kind of transitional solution while awaiting the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment.

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